Full-Day Hiking Tour to the Base of Paine Towers at Torres del Paine National Park
The crown jewel of your guided hike is a close-up view of the three granite towers that give the park its name: Torres del Paine, meaning ‘Blue Towers of the Sky.’ To get there, tackle a moderately difficult trek full of wondrous sights.
During the first 90 minutes or so, huff your way up a series of switchbacks over Ascencio Valley; your efforts are rewarded with views of pristine Nordenskjöld Lake. Then walk under the hanging glaciers of snowcapped Mount Almirante Nieto, reaching 8,760 feet (2,670 meters) above sea level. Your guide ensures you take plenty of breaks as needed along the way. The trail levels off eventually, but can dip and climb up to 200 feet (61 meters) as it snakes around a mountain, with the Ascencio River gurgling below.
After several hours of hiking, enjoy a well-earned 20-minute stop at Refugio El Chile, where you can purchase snacks and beverages (own expense).
Refreshed, return to the trail and enter a lenga forest. Experience a sense of well-being and calm as you trod on soft ground amid the tangle of beautiful beech trees. After about an hour in the woods, emerge onto a moraine, a mass of rocks piled on top of one another. Your guide informs you that your destination lies ahead . . . and up.
Watch your footing on the gravel trail during this arduous ascent of switchbacks, lasting approximately 45 minutes. Suddenly, a glorious example of nature appears within sight: a turquoise-colored glacial lake, surrounded by the three jagged towers.
Follow your guide to the lookout point, and capture amazing views of the Paine Towers and Cerro Nido de Cóndor. The northern tower stands 8,530 feet (2,600 meters) above sea level, the central tower at 9,186 feet (2,800 meters), and the southern tower at 9,350 feet (2,850 meters).
Plant yourself on a boulder in this majestic landscape and dig into the boxed lunch provided, which typically includes two sandwiches, a bar of chocolate and one bottle each of water and juice. During your quiet period of appreciation here, you may glimpse condors swooping high over thermal currents.
Then take one more look at this nature wonderland before taking the same route back to reach the minivan. Relax your tired legs on the return ride to Puerto Natales, knowing that the trek was worth every sapping breath.
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
- Transport by air-conditioned vehicle
- Professional guide
- Boxed lunch
- Entrance fee to Torres del Paine National Park (approx. USD $48)
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Minimum age is 13 years
- A minimum of 2 people per booking is required
- Not recommended for participants with back problems, heart complaints or other serious medical conditions
- Walking is involved in this tour. A medium rythm needs to be maintained along the route
- A good level of fitness is required
- Please wear comfortable clothes and trekking shoes
- Please bring a jacket, gloves, a hat, sunscreen and trekking poles
- It is recommended that you carry a small backpack and bring additional snacks and beverages
- Small-group tour limited to six people
- Please note: this is a seasonal tour -- only operating October-March
- In case a traveller decides to give up for personal reasons no refund will be issued
Moderate hike is an understatement. The suggested mileage should include the additional 5 miles round-trip to trek from the parking lot to the trail head. Inspect your lunch items before you set out on the hike, and be prepared to supplement with your own preferences--every ounce matters in an 18 mile day, so only take what you'll want to eat. Make sure you take enough water. There may not be a place to refill on the trip. The restrooms cost money at the rest area / campsite halfway through the hike. The description says the limit is 5 people in a tour, and we felt weighted down with 7--not sure why we had additional people, but it was tough making it through the more difficult parts of the hike when we would lose momentum. Super long day, but worth it. A great way to see a ton of highlights in one day.
It was totally amazing, definitely recommend for you to do it. Well it was kinda moderate hike and some part was high, i would recommend to do some hiking trainning before hand, however the tour provided you with 2 poles so they help with your balance. Make sure you prepare for extra 2-3 kms once coming down to get to your car park i know when your legs were tired and relaxed and have to do a couple extra kms could be tiring. Bring some extra yummy food from home because the food they provided were not sufficient. The group was small only 5 the guide John. He was a great guide very attentive, cheerful and caring. He kept checking our pace and how we were travelling, gave us some tips and suggestions, he was very knowleagable about the granite and mountains and told us about the how the mountains formed the way they are now. Absolutely Otra Vez!
DO NOT BOOK THIS TOUR! The path is hard to miss and transport to the park is sufficient. The guide talked twice to us, left us behind, didn't provide additional information. Despite on time, he complained to the driver that my girlfriend stopped so often assuming that she didn't understand Spanish.
We decided to book this tour after researching numerous different options. It seemed like it would provide a challenging days walking aimed at those with a good level of fitness and would make the most of our one day in Torres del Paine. However we found the pace slow with many breaks taken, not always in the most scenic of spots which is an accomplishment in such a beautiful natural park! Our guide walked mainly right at the back of the group, sometimes on her own and spoke to us twice. The first time was to tell us the rough route and the second time was a quick explanation of who had first climber the towers. It would have been nice to have had more information on the local history, wildlife and plants which is what I would expect from a professional guide. We ended the trek feeling disappointed and as though we had paid for a transfer and for a lady to come for a walk with us in silence.
Although I found the trek tough going as I think you need a certain level of fitness for the one day trip, I enjoyed it. The guide who was provided to us from a local hostel was fantastic and had a lot of knowledge of the area and especially timings. Even when he received a message about my special lunch request on the day of our tour extremely late message, he went out of his way to make sure I had what ever I needed. A great day that we will remember for the rest of our lives.